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Are All Sins Equal?

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Many Reformed churches teach unscriptural things, calling them ‘Biblical’. One of these bad teachings is that ‘all sins are equal’. This fallacy has been elevated in the last decade, and used by pro-homosexuals to claim that even if homosexuality is a sin it is no worse than any other sin - yet another blatant lie. This article is short, because the truth is easily discerned... by the exegete. As an introductory paper it does not give texts because I only wish to point to the undergirding error.

Eisegesis versus Exegesis

These errors or lies are founded on eisegesis, which conflicts totally with biblical exegesis. Exegesis is the ‘proper’ way to study scripture: it means to study objectively and to allow conclusions to arise from this careful study. Sadly, and often annoyingly, most Christians (and definitely unbelievers) rely only on eisegesis. That is, a subjective, undisciplined approach to reading scripture, coming to their own conclusions, even when they contradict what scripture says; in this way men and women say whatever they like, regardless of what God says, just to ‘prove’ a theory. I have been opposing this latter type for many years!

The true Christian student of scripture is an exegete. This is why I am rather brief with eisegetes! They corrupt scripture and their own Christian lives, and mess-up others with their often lavish, wordy ‘explanations’ (errors) for God’s word.

Old Testament and Sin

It is rather obvious that the Old Testament distinguishes sins from sins. Some are deigned worse than others. Hence, for example, some sins demand a death penalty, others demand social repulsion, and some require certain rites such as a temple sacrifice to cleanse from the sin. Lists of sins are given and it is very clear that some sins are far worse than others.

New Testament and Sin

One sin stands out above the rest, and CANNOT be forgiven: rejection of the Lord. This is why, in both Old and New Testaments, those who reject Christ/God will enter Hell. This is the ultimate penalty for the ultimate sin.

It is why homosexuality is dealt with so toughly in Romans 1. And elsewhere, regarding this evil, God says that He hates both the sin and the sinner*, and so will send those who remain in that sin to Hell. (* See article on this issue).

In other parts of the New Testament, other sins are included in this decision to send people to Hell, but it is homosexuality that receives greater condemnation. And in John we find that even Jesus tells Pilate that though he is being used by the Jews to kill Him, it is the Jews – the Pharisees – who are worse: ‘... he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.’ (John 19:11). In this text, ‘greater’, meizōn, means larger, stronger, more.

This means that though Pilate made an allowance (rather than a command) to hand Jesus back to the murderous Pharisees, it was the Pharisees, whose black hearts planned it all, who were the wicked ones, guilty of a greater crime. This kind of condemnation is found elsewhere in the New Testament, where those who incite sin (such as bad teachers) are more guilty than those they teach and who follow the recommended sins; they are also guilty, but less so because they have been misguided. This fact should alter all Christians – who should question their motives, allegiances to particular teachers and books/theories, and their lives.

Only One Instance...

There is ONE instance of all sins being equal – and that is ONLY in the case of salvation. All sins are equal when it comes to repentance and salvation. At no other time are sins counted to be equal.

The reason for this is simple: Jesus Christ came to die for our sins. That is for the principle of Sin (often referred to as ‘original sin’) transmitted to us immediately we are conceived. So, even before we are born, we are unregenerate and bound for Hell! Subsumed in this principle of Sin, which all of us are born with, are the many sins we commit because of original Sin. We commit them because our spirits are dead and our souls are black with the principle of Sin. When we ‘repent unto salvation’, all our ‘daily’ sins AND their underlying principle of Sin, are wiped away.

However, for unbelievers, including ourselves before we were saved, sins were not equal – hence the varying penalties, depending on what the sin was. And, AFTER we are saved, our daily sins, when committed, can have varying responses from God. For example, if a man commits murder, and is then saved, though he will be forgiven by God, the earthly magistrates must find him guilty and put him to death (That they do not do this is a separate sin, on the heads of the magistrates).

Look at the sin of lying in Ananias and Sapphira. They were instantly struck down. Not all are struck down in this way for most sins, but God has this option. (The reason for their instant death penalties is not the subject of this paper: see the relevant Bible study). Romans 1 and allied texts prove that God hates the sin of homosexuality AND its practitioners, if they do not repent. Such outward hatred is not usually expressed against other forms of sin, showing that some sins are indeed worse than others. For the genuine Christian, though the penalty can be severe without repentance, it is the awfulness of sinning at all that should concern him, and should drive him on to repent. So, beware! God can strike us down instantly for our sins – He might not wait until our ‘expected’ time of death! Sins are NOT all equal, so do not be blasé about them.

© June 2015

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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom